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Dec 14 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages on Friday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
* Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations removed a major source of tension between the White House and Congressional Republicans, when she took herself out of the running for the U.S. secretary of state. ()
* President Obama called Speaker John Boehner to the White House on Thursday to try to move talks forward even as pessimism mounted that a broad deal could be struck that bridges the substantial gap between the parties on taxes and entitlements like Medicare. ()
* Federal prosecutors are close to securing a guilty plea from a UBS AG subsidiary at the center of a global investigation into interest rate manipulation, the first big bank to agree to criminal charges in more than a decade. ()
* A tour of favorite spots along the Jersey Shore a month after Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc finds a region slowly starting to recover. ()
* The outlook for Syria's embattled president darkened considerably on Thursday when his most powerful foreign ally, Russia, acknowledged that he was losing the struggle against an increasingly coordinated insurgency and for the first time said it was making contingency plans to evacuate its citizens from the country. ()
* N. Joseph Woodland, who six decades ago drew a set of lines in the sand and in the process conceived the modern bar code, died on Sunday at his home in Edgewater, New Jersey. He was 91. ()